Cosgriff scouts out a Royal victory
Brian Cosgriff, coach of the Hopkins High girls basketball team, is closing fast on the career 400-win mark.
One reason for his success is his dedication and thoroughness in the scouting department. His latest scouting coup was a 60-46 Lake Conference win over Minnetonka Jan. 22 at Minnetonka High’s West Gym.
“We had scouted Minnetonka nine times this year,” said Cosgriff. “And they probably watched us as many times as we watched them. We’ll take this one, but March is when it really counts.”
Of course, he was referring to the Class 4A, Section 6 Tournament, in which Hopkins and Minnetonka will be two of the favorites. Cosgriff’s success in section and state play is well documented. The Royals have won four state championships under Cosgriff, including the last two, and he is anxious to try for No. 5 this winter.
While it’s great to have a team scouted, Cosgriff pointed out that you still have to perform to win. In the victory over Minnetonka, Hopkins’ All-State senior guard Nia Coffey had a huge night with 24 points and 21 rebounds. Defensively, the Skippers had no answer for her.
“We won this one based on Nia’s athleticism and Erin O’Toole’s size,” said Cosgriff.
O’Toole, a 6-foot-2 senior center, got most of the rebounds Coffey didn’t get and also scored 16 points. Ninth-grader Nia Holley added eight points for the Royals.
Another key to the Hopkins victory was holding Minnetonka’s star guard Joanna Hedstrom to nine points.
“Joanna is one of the three best players in the state,” Cosgriff emphasized. “How many girls can shoot NBA threes the way she can? Joanna makes everyone around her better.”
While the Royals checked Hedstrom efficiently, Courtney Fredrickson led the Skipper attack with 14 points. Anne Hamilton added eight for Minnetonka.
The 60-46 final score might be a bit deceiving, at least from Cosgriff’s perspective. The Skippers were still very much in the game at halftime when they trailed 25-21.
“They’re such good shooters, you can never be too comfortable [with a lead],” said Cosgriff.
Hopkins had a Lake match-up against Edina Jan. 25, but it wasn’t as tough as the Royals had expected. They won going away, 57-38.
With the victories last week, the Royals improved to 17-1 overall. They were tipping off against Wayzata Tuesday, Jan. 29, in a Lake Conference game as this edition went to press.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, the Hopkins girls will return home for a Lake game against Eden Prairie at Hopkins Lindbergh Center.